Ahead of the Regina Pats hosting the Mastercard Memorial Cup, the Pats added a big piece to their roster.
One of the top defenceman in the WHL, Cale Fleury, 18, from Kootenay Ice was traded to Regina on Monday.
“It’s been in the works since May 5th,” said Head Coach John Paddock, referring to the trade.
The Pats, in exchange, traded off defenceman Jonathan Smart, 18, and Cole Muir, 16 along with a second and sixth round pick in the 2018 draft and one conditional pick in the 2019 or 2020 draft.
Fleury is a Saskatchewan native from Carlyle but calls Calgary home. He stands six feet one inch tall, weighs 203 pounds and shoots right.
For roughly the last three years, Paddock said they went from having lots of right hand shooters to having none. Now, with the addition of Fleury, it reaffirms the trade was a good decision.
“We would have been looking at him if he was a left hand shot — but a right hand shot (defenceman) like this — he’s a significant piece,” he said.
Paddock wouldn’t go into details about other moves the Pats might make before the trade deadline; however, he said he’s very happy with securing Fleury.
“He has a lot of hardness to his game,” said Paddock. “He’s going to be the more physical defender than we have, he’s got a good shot … he (was) drafted by Montreal in the first time (he was) eligible for the draft.”
Fleury was picked 87th overall by the Montreal Canadians at this year’s NHL Entry Draft. His brother Haydn Fleury currently plays for the Carolina Hurricanes.
The trade deadline is Jan. 10, 2018.
It’s expected Fleury will make his Pats debut Wednesday night against the Calgary Hitman.
—With files from Green Zones Jamie Nye the Sports Guy